Festival of Lights begins Saturday

Chillicothe News

Festival of Lights Opening Night Celebration will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday in Simpson Park. Everyone is invited to come see their favorite displays and discover what’s new. During the ceremony, Santa will lead the countdown to the moment when the lights are lit and the many displays come to life. Simpson Park will be closed to thru-traffic from 5-7 p.m., so that those who attend may walk through and get a closer look.

This year’s event features visits with Santa and horse-drawn sleigh rides sponsored by BTC Bank and Chillicothe State Bank. The rides are $1 per person. Hot chocolate and apple cider will be served courtesy of HyVee. Kettle corn is available for purchase. Adam Mast, Mast Productions, will provide Christmas music throughout the evening.

Darin Newman of Illuminations by Newman dropped by Simpson Park last week to decorate some of the most talked about trees at Festival of Lights including the popular "Twinkle Tree".

This popular drive-through community attraction continues to grow and attract more visitors every year since its beginning in 2005. It highlights the efforts of community volunteers working with Chillicothe Parks staff to create a Christmas wonderland from late November through Jan. 1.

Festival of Lights is funded by the donations of individuals, businesses, and local foundations. Contributions in the form of money, time, equipment, and expertise by so many in our community have made this event possible through the years.

The Festival of Lights Committee includes Barb Burton, Janet Barnhart, Marsha Beetsma, Mary Lou Wilhoit, Kathy Gilliland and Kim Crowe